Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Friday, April 22, 2005


The God of Reality vs ID

I really can't understand those who believe in the God of Biblical Mythology. The more we learn about the reality of the universe God created, the more irrelevant these creationist stories become. Before long they'll be regarded on a par with the stories form Greek and Roman mythology.

Being out of touch with reality is a way of describing someone who is insane. Trying to reinterpret reality to fit one's preconceived notions is an attempt to preserve whatever sanity these people have left. No wonder they're so fanatic about it. Facts and logic will never convince them. The fear of going crazy defies all reason. Preserving one's sanity is more important than recognizing the truth.

In Sunday School I remember how excited I was to learn about the Biblical stories, something we didn't talk about in public school. The coloring book with the animals on Noah's ark was a favorite. Yet the understanding was that the Bible was written long, long ago. There were libraries worth of information we had learned about the world since this one book was written. If we wanted to know more about God's marvelous creation, we should study as much science as we can.

So how can someone worship "God the Creator," then turn around and deny the reality of the world they say their God created? How can these believers pretend to love God, while closing their minds to the knowledge of His world that our scientists provide us? Denying the reality of God's creation is not only disrespectful of God but also makes these people look silly.

If we're ever going to get rid of this ID infection, it's going to be done by believers in the God of reality. Scientific knowledge can't dissuade someone whose sanity depends on believing the contrary.

God's existence is everywhere around us, we see it in the reality of His creation. How dare these ID goons insult God by finding evidence of His existence only in a few obscure cell structures and functions? And what happens as scientists discover, one by one, how these came into existence through evolutionary processes? Does that mean, when the last one is accounted for, then "poof" God disappears? Who could be so foolish as to introduce something into science class that will eventually show that God doesn't exist?

That would be my approach. Thanks ~DS~ (Also posted here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Thoughts on Simpson v. Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors

Simpson was asking to be allowed to give a Wiccan invocation before one of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meetings as volunteers of other religions were allowed to do. The board refused to allow her to do so because, as they put it, their invocation prayers "are traditionally made to a divinity that is consistent with the Judeo-Christian tradition." The appeals court sided with this County restriction.

Marsh v Chambers abstracted here, appears to give the precedent for the case. If the Nebraska legislature is allowed to pick the chaplain to hire based on the persons religious background, then the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors can choose volunteers for their invocation based on religious considerations as well.

CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court in Marsh. This practice was justified almost entirely on historical precedent:

The opening of sessions of legislative and other deliberative public bodies with prayer is deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country...

This unique history leads us to accept the interpretation of the First Amendment draftsmen who saw no real threat to the Establishment Clause arising from a practice of prayer similar to that now challenged...

In light of the unambiguous and unbroken history of more than 200 years, there can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society.

JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL joins, dissenting.

I now believe that the practice of official invocational prayer, as it exists in Nebraska and most other state legislatures, is unconstitutional. It is contrary to the doctrine as well the underlying purposes of the Establishment Clause, and it is not saved either by its history or by any of the other considerations suggested in the Court's opinion....

From Lemon: "Every analysis in this area must begin with consideration of the cumulative criteria developed by the Court over many years. Three such tests may be gleaned from our cases. First, the statute [at issue] must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster `an excessive government entanglement with religion.'"

The Court's main argument for carving out an exception sustaining legislative prayer is historical. This is a case, however, in which - absent the Court's invocation of history - there would be no question that the practice at issue was unconstitutional. And despite the surface appeal of the Court's argument, there are at least three reasons why specific historical practice should not in this case override that clear constitutional imperative...

To my mind, the Court's focus here on a narrow piece of history is, in a fundamental sense, a betrayal of the lessons of history.

Until the Supreme Court decides a case more in line with the Brennan and Marshall dissent, the Appeals Courts would have to follow Justice Burger's historically based first amendment exception.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


The APA on Sexual Orientation


Here are excerpts from the APA Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality web page. I hope you will read the whole page.

Sexual Orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person.

Homosexuals can form bonds of love and affection with persons of the same sex just as heterosexuals do with someone of the opposite sex. Gays’ love for each other is the same in magnitude and affect as a heterosexual woman’s love for a man, since these derive from the same gene set on the X chromosome in both cases. THere is no “tragedy of monumental proportions” here. It’s who one can love, not who one can’t love that matters.

There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexual [orientation].

There’s nothing “so 1950’s” about the genetic evidence.

[H]uman beings can not choose to be either gay or straight… Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.

The American Psychological Association is concerned about such [reparative] therapies and their potential harm to patients.

No, I haven’t seen anyone change. The one person I saw interviewed finally admitted he still felt attracted to men, but through the love and support of his dear wife, a “former” lesbian, he was able to resist these urges. Don’t you see this poor tortured man’s problem? If he’s still attracted to men, then he’s still gay, isn’t he? One cannot change the autonomic nervous system reactions of the limbic system.

Neither I nor the APA is responsible for this man’s plight. It is they who told him he could change when he couldn’t that are responsible for his distress. A “marriage” where neither person has love and affection for the other is where the true tragedy lies.

Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem.

Only persons who are taught to be prejudice towards guys would suggest otherwise. Weren’t many once taught that blacks are inferior?

For this reason, psychologists believe negative attitudes toward gay people as a group are prejudices that are not grounded in actual experiences but are based on stereotypes and prejudice.

Politicians and preachers who shamelessly promote these prejudices to gain votes or add to the church coffers are to be condemned for their actions just as those who exploit racism for the same reasons.

Educating all people about sexual orientation and homosexuality is likely to diminish anti-gay prejudice.

I participate in community outreach for this purpose. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #71)

Monday, April 11, 2005


Magical Thinking vs Gay Reality

John wrote: "All people should be equal, and to create equality, all people should truly love and become fully human by joining with a person of the other sex into a single fully human entity."

In therapy, this is known as "magical thinking." When confronted with a difficult situation, instead of dealing with the issue, the person simply waves a magic wand, changing the world into one where the problem no longer exists. Needless to say, reality doesn't change to conform to our wishful thinking, so pretending otherwise isn't helpful. The sooner the person leaves their fantasies behind and deals with the world of reality the better.

The reality is this:

About five percent of any given population is attracted the persons of the same gender. They cannot form bonds of love and affection with persons of the opposite sex.

The gender of the person one is attracted to is hard wired into to limbic system before birth at the same primitive level as the fight or flight reaction. As an autonomic nervous system function, this emotional reaction is not subject to conscious control.

Sexual orientations are distributed though the population in a nearly random fashion. The proportions represented have held true over time and across cultures. Anyone can have a gay son or a lesbian daughter, VP and Mrs. Cheney, for example. Upbringing has nothing to do with it.

Sexual orientation cannot be changed. This is one of the three main reasons that the American Psychological Association and other reputable organizations removed this category from the list of mental disorders in the 1970's. The evidence in support of this decision is overwhelming.

While we can moderate our behavioral response to an emotional reaction, we can no more eliminate the reaction itself than we can hold our breath indefinitely. Trying to "cure" someone of their homosexuality is not only futile but also dangerous. When a person realizes that no "cure" is possible despite their most sincere efforts, they can become depressed and suicidal. Anyone who encourages a person to attempt such a change is also responsible for the tragedy that follows.

Teens are subject to peer pressure to conform to the norms of the group, which is predominately heterosexual. This is impossible for gay and lesbian students. Fortunately, schools have made efforts to inform students about the homosexual situation, yet prejudice and harassment continue. The rate of suicides among gay teens is still three times the average.

In the same way, pressuring someone who is not heterosexual to give up their emotional needs for love and affection to enter into a heterosexual marriage, not only does the couple involved an injustice and their children, but does harm to society in the long run as well.

The propensity of some politicians and preachers to play to the homophobic prejudices of ill-informed people for political or personal gain is still rampant in many areas of the country as we saw in the last election and in too many TV ministries. We need to celebrate our differences, not exploit them.

So waving a magic wand as if this will make homosexuals disappear or to ignore them or tell them to act like everyone else, is not a realistic approach to the situation. If you can't provide positive solutions in these matters, then you are just another part of the problem.

And no, I'm not in the public square trying to drum up business. Frankly I'm tired, very tired of the time spent to repair the lives of those whom a thoughtless and unjust society have torn apart due to unwarranted prejudice. I look forward to the day when a better understanding of homosexuality, as presented above, will make this less necessary. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #66)